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Thread: It's The Men vs. The Women...

  1. #1
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    It's The Men vs. The Women...

    Men vs. women on CBS' 'Survivor'
    By Gary Levin, USA TODAY

    LOS ANGELES Amid a glut of reality programs, Survivor: The Amazon has found a new wrinkle to keep viewers: a battle of the sexes pitting an all-male tribe against women.

    TV's top unscripted series, returning for a sixth season with a 90-minute premiere Feb. 13 on CBS (8 p.m. ET/PT), is waging its own kind of battle. Though it is still hugely popular and has more than 20 million viewers each week, Survivor's age, lost novelty and new competition threaten to undermine fan interest.

    CBS lost a court bid on Monday to stop ABC from airing I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, which CBS said is too similar to Survivor. ABC will air its series, which will strand stars in Australia, live for 15 consecutive nights next month.

    Coupled with talent searches and dating shows that seem to be growing like weeds much to the chagrin of sitcom and drama producers a saturation point looms.

    "With all the stuff on the air this spring and probably next fall, we probably will have overdone it," CBS Television president Leslie Moonves told TV critics Monday in Los Angeles.

    "Everybody's looking for that quick fix, and a lot of times these shows do give you that. Hopefully the cream will rise to the top, as it did with Survivor."

    Survivor producer Mark Burnett says he isn't worried, although for the first time the usually secretive CBS screened 12 minutes of the premiere episode for critics a month before the premiere.

    "We're in another world compared to these other shows," he says. "We have this core audience, and as long as we remain true to our dramatic arcs, we'll be fine."

    So why the change? "It's like any whodunit: If it's too predictable, it's not fair to the audience."

    The Amazon tribe split, Tambaqui (men) and Jaburu (women), forced producers to design a broader mix of challenges to avoid men getting an unfair advantage by using physical strength. Burnett said a similar adjustment occurred in the last Survivor, in Thailand, when older members were concentrated in one tribe.

    The same-sex grouping presented its own challenges: At least initially, women couldn't flaunt "string bikinis to show off" and gain advantage, host Jeff Probst says. And male egos threatened their tribe even as the women bonded.

    "Keeping them separated, the sexual tension kept building," Probst says. "When they met for challenges, it was like a mixer."

    The tribes include a deaf woman Christy Smith, an adventure guide from Colorado and the series' first Asian man, Daniel Lue, an accountant in Houston. And the usual threatening elements await, including schools of piranha and crocodiles.

  2. #2
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I like the idea in principal of strting out with the men verses the women, I jus can't decide what I think the implications will be for the show as a whole.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I think Mark's out of ideas. This entire season is bugging me lately.

    1) They start out men versus women, which is funny because everyone's been suggesting that for 5 seasons now.

    2) Buff colors have been used.

    3) Several people are actors or actresses.

    4) He was pitched the idea of filming in the Amazon by the people who own the Ariau resort.

    5) The cast list was completely spoiled, with pictures and everything, well before the official release.

    6) He and/or his people are giving critical spoiler information to groups of people every single week.

    7) CBS can't be bothered to spell their contestants' names right, spell the name of an animal right that they mention in every press release, and even go so far as to accidentally put "Jesse's Ass" for someone's outdoor game (by the way, CBS has changed it to "hiking", but I'm leaving it as Jesse's Ass).

    It all just bugs the crap out of me. More and more as I think about it. Lazy execs.

  4. #4
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more John.
    So much of the element of surprise has been taken out of the show in recent season.

    They seem to be completely disinterested in this latest season.
    We've hd the usual "this is the best season ever" comments, but we get that every year.
    It's almost as if they've given in to the spoiling community and take it for granted that the viewers will keep tuning in.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    I was kind of wondering what kind of game was "Jesse's Ass" - it certainly sounded interesting.

  6. #6
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Welcome, Conan!

    Yes, Jesse's Ass may be a popular outdoor game in his neighborhood - if Jesse's cute, that is.

    But really, how do you screw THAT up? It's not like it's a typo.

  7. #7
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Hi Conan,
    welcome to the site

    I knwo we had a lot of local neighbourhood games when I was growing up, nothing that referenced the ass though
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    I see one big issue here... at least it is big to me...

    The Amazon tribe split, Tambaqui (men) and Jaburu (women), forced producers to design a broader mix of challenges to avoid men getting an unfair advantage by using physical strength. Burnett said a similar adjustment occurred in the last Survivor, in Thailand, when older members were concentrated in one tribe.
    Weren't we always told that the challenges were decided upon well before the survivors got to the island?

    Now he says changes were made based upon what the tribe make up was... a tribe make up he didn't know about until they picked that day...

    I mean, I am not naieve, I didn't believe that they never changed a challenge, but this just seems to be complete admission of something denied for quite some time.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

  9. #9
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Exactly Bill.

    I can understand them making some concessions to superior physical strength when they know what the make up of the tribes will be beforehand.
    They had no way of knowing how Jan and Jake would select last season.

    I can think of a few occasions when viewers have felt the challenge was set to benefit a particular team.
    I would cite, all the members of Kucha having to run the maze challenge in S2, it clearly slowed them down and gave Ogakor an advantage imo. More recently, the timing of the SOS challenge in S4 clearly gave the Marramu the advantage having just raided the Rotu camp.

    MB has always denied the challenges are "reactionary" to any of the events in the show, now he's claiming they are
    "That's Numberwang!"

  10. #10
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I think we always knew challenges were changed based on tribal makeup - but it's funny that MB has always denied it until that statement.

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